Carmen Vetter, Loom, 2012kilnformed glass, 21 x 21.5 x 1.25 inches (installed)
Portland, OR – Unforgiving Edge/What Remains looks at the effect that a particular coastal region of Scotland had on US artists Susan Longini and Carmen Vetter. The exhibition will be on view at Bullseye Gallery May 30 through July 28, 2012.
Residencies create scattered communities loosely connected by a shared experience of a place. California-based artist Susan Longini and Portland-based artist Carmen Vetter both, at different times, participated in residencies in Northern Scotland and were both struck by the windswept, ocean carved cliffs and ways in which the croft houses mimicked and clung to the landscape. “Scotland encouraged me to look to place for inspiration,” says Vetter. What she found was an iconography that speaks of erosion and loss. “The chimneys,” Vetter continues, “sown across that vast, primeval landscape have come to represent, for me, what remains.”
Longini sees the relationship between mankind and the landscape as a poetic reminder of human endurance. “The crofters, who found themselves pushed against this unforgiving coast, looked through the mist and fog and knew that this was where they had to make a stand, to make a life from the North Sea,” says Longini. The resulting pâte de verre wall works speak to the delicate balance between the sublime and terrifying vastness of the world and how we have situated ourselves in it. Longini believes that the crofters' “resolve, courage and ingenuity still vibrate and call for us all to stand looking into the mist and to find our own courage to move ahead.”